Fibrillin-1 is an extracellular matrix protein which contains one conserved RGD integrin-binding motif. It constitutes the backbone of microfibrils in many tissues, and mutations in fibrillin-1 cause various connective tissue disorders. Although it is well established that fibrillin-1 interacts with several RGD-dependent integrins, very little is known about the associated intracellular signaling pathways. Recent published evidence identified a subset of miRNAs regulated by fibrillin-1 RGD-cell adhesion, with miR-1208 among the most downregulated. The present study shows that the downregulated miR-1208 controls fibroblast proliferation. Inhibitor experiments revealed that fibrillin-1 RGD suppressed miR-1208 expression via c-Src kinase and the downstream JNK signaling. Bioinformatic prediction and experimental target sequence validation demonstrated four miR-1208 binding sites on the ERK2 mRNA and one on the MEK1 mRNA. ERK2 and MEK1 are critical proliferation-promoting kinases. Decreased miR-1208 levels elevated the total and phosphorylated ERK1/2 and MEK1/2 protein levels and the phosphorylated to total ERK1/2 ratio. Together, the data demonstrate a novel outside-in signaling mechanism explaining how fibrillin-1 RGD-cell binding regulates fibroblast proliferation.
Keywords: ERK1/2 signaling; RGD; fibrillin-1; fibroblasts; miR-1208; proliferation.
© 2021 Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology.